The theme of our successful Steward­ship Campaign last year was Vision 20/20—Looking Ahead. However far into the future we thought we could see at the time, I don’t think any of us could possibly fathom what the year 2020 would actually bring. While global pandemics, recessions, protests, and social upheavals have occurred in history, I cannot remember them all occurring at the same time.

For my family, the shock of being locked in the house, wondering where and how to get food and essentials, and watching the seemingly endless replay of the same bad news on television every night made a deep impression. Seeing the stock market sink drastically and businesses shutter made me wonder if the “new normal” we finally emerge into would look at all like the old normal. Not being able to join friends in worship at our 125-year-old sanctuary and attend other events was one of the most painful forced changes of habit imposed by COVID-19 for us. But throughout this time, like many other parishioners, we are grateful for the way the clergy and staff at St. Andrew’s have adapted so quickly to these new environments and we have been spiritually sustained by the online worship services offered at St. Andrew’s.

So, as your stewardship committee came together this spring to discuss the 2021 campaign and choose a theme, a powerful one emerged very quickly. This year, the theme of our campaign, and perhaps a rallying cry for our entire parish, is Rising to the challenge: We are all in this together. We all face challenges, but life and the life of our parish must go on. It is a great comfort to me that we are indeed in this “together.”

Our goals this year are the same as last year. That together we can raise $1.05 million from 300+ families/households to fund our wonderful church and all of its operations and programs. We will face many hurdles to be sure, a major one being running the campaign 100% virtually. I am confident we will accomplish our goals and safeguard the worship services, programs, and sense of community that have allowed our parish to flourish. The stewardship committee and I thank you for your generosity in advance, and we look forward to an energetic program this fall!

With best wishes,
Hugh MacArthur

A pledge to St. Andrew’s is a financial promise and commitment to support our parish and its missions in the coming year. Your pledge is an act of faith that connects you more deeply to our church. Many find spiritual joy in making a generous pledge to support God’s work through the church. While pledges guide our budget for the year, they can be adjusted, up or down, if your circumstances change.

Members of the Episcopal Church are expected to support their parish through generous pledges of their time and talent (through volunteering) and treasure (through financial pledges). You are not required to pledge to attend services and participate in parish life, but you are expected to support your fair share of our parish expenses and operating costs, in proportion to your resources.

From a spiritual perspective, we are called upon to be generous and joyful givers of our time, talents and treasure, to support God’s church. Giving to support missions we believe in gives us joy, and makes us feel more connected to our parish. There are many opportunities to serve and get involved.

From a practical viewpoint, stewardship is a shared responsibility and duty that we undertake to care for and maintain our parish and its missions. It is the combined energy and financial support of families and individual members that make possible all that we are and do as a parish. Pledges and gifts provide roughly 75% of the funds for our annual parish budget.

We do have several endowment funds which are like savings accounts. As good stewards of the endowments, we strive to preserve the principal for future needs or emergencies and use only a small draw (4½ % of average principal) each year to offset a portion of our annual expenses.

No, we don’t—it’s the other way around! Episcopal churches are usually financially independent, raising most of their operating funds from members. Unlike some churches (e.g., Roman Catholic), we are not funded from the top down. Your pledges or gifts go directly to our parish, and we are then charged an annual assessment to help fund the diocese, supporting it and the missions of the Episcopal Church throughout the world. This assessment (about $142,600 in 2019) is the second largest line item in our budget.

Pledges indicate your intended financial donation to the parish for the coming year. They convey a level of commitment that strengthens our bonds with the parish, and they are needed by the wardens and vestry for planning ahead responsibly. Gifts, while welcome and appreciated, usually cannot be foreseen or relied on for planning purposes.

There are three easy ways to make your pledge:

  1. Mail your pledge card to the church office.
  2. Pledge online on this website on the “Making a Pledge” tab.

Timely pledges are essential for prudent budgeting and planning for the coming year. Please make your pledge by Commitment Sunday, November 1, 2020.

We all receive many requests from worthwhile charities and organizations—but remember that St. Andrew’s depends on a relatively small number of pledges (~300) for the majority of its budget. Please give St. Andrew’s a high place in your annual giving, and make a pledge that feels to you like a major gift!

This is a very personal decision, but there are guiding principles. The Biblical tithe of 10% of income is a worthy goal, and some members joyfully reach this pinnacle. At St. Andrew’s, we suggest an initial goal of 2% of income, and encourage you to move up in increments of 1% of income towards a full (or fuller) tithe. Our average gift in 2019 was approximately $3,500 per household.

Click the image below to for an enlarged view.

2021 Step Up Chart